The war between the music streaming services has taken on another new battleground, and this time, it's videos. Tidal has fired the first shot by premiering Kanye West's controversial "Famous" video exclusively, and the streaming music and video service is the only web outlet on which the video can currently be viewed.
The latest fight among the top music streaming services is for exclusives, and the top two most popular steamers, Apple Music and Spotify, have both fired shots recently in terms of securing songs from the world's most popular artists in order to entice music fans to subscribe to their services.
Apple Music recently scored a huge exclusive with Drake's "Views" album, which has topped the Billboard charts for weeks and is shaping up to be the most popular album of the summer so far. Recently, Apple Music also nabbed the popular artist Chance the Rapper's new "Coloring Book" collection, an extra significant get, given that Chance declared he won't be releasing any physical copies of the album, which became the first CD ever to hit the Billboard Top 10 album charts based on digital streaming alone.
Spotify has been late to the party when it comes to nailing exclusives, so it recently hired top music industry executive Troy Carter in order to foster relationships with artists and labels to score some exclusive tracks.
It's Jay Z's upstart Tidal streaming service, however, which has really upped the ante when it comes to exclusives. After two high-profile A-list artist exclusives hit the service recently, Rihanna's "Anti" album and Kanye West's "The Life Of Pablo," the streamer is now entering new territory with a video exclusive from the prolific West, namely the clip for his new song "Famous," taken from the "Pablo" collection.
The controversial clip features lifelike moving nude wax figures of various celebrities, including George W. Bush, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Vogue's Anna Wintour and Kanye's nemesis Taylor Swift, who is name checked in the song with a derogatory term. While some are heralding the 10-minute-plus video as a work of art, others are criticizing it as a crass publicity stunt.
Actress and "Girls" creator Lena Dunham, also a close friend of Swift, attacked the video on Facebook in a lengthy post in which she wrote, "Now I have to see the prone, unconscious, waxy bodies of famous women, twisted like they've been drugged and chucked aside at a rager? It gives me such a sickening sense of dis-ease." She added that "I can't watch it, don't want to watch it, if it feels informed and inspired by the aspects of our culture that make women feel unsafe even in their own beds, in their own bodies."
Regardless of viewers' reactions, one thing's for sure — people want to check out this video to see what all the fuss is about, and Tidal has positioned itself perfectly as the only outlet at which they can do so.